general fuzz

Musing from a obsessive computer music composer with hippie-ish tendencies.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oracle World Appreciation Party

Last night I opened up for Joan Jett, Berlin, Devo, and Elton John. No lie. Also for 5 cover bands, several dance troupes, and a couple of downtempo artists. Brad, the dude who Stina worked with on several ArtsFest events, got hired as a talent coordinator for the party. This is how I, Oracle employee extraordinaire, ended up playing this party. I played 3 sets, the first was 7:15 – 8, and the party started at 8. Therefore I can honestly say that I opened for every act at the party. The party was rather impressive in scale – it took over the entire Cow Palace and erected a number of gargantuan outside stages under tents. You entered the space by walking under a raised platform stage where the Unauthorized Rolling Stones were performing. I don’t think the geeks were overly impressed. I sure was. Stina, event planner extrordinare, was rather floored with the whole operation. I played in north hall, which was the least accessible space in the party. It would be the last place you would find in the general flow.

We showed up at 5:15, and then spent about the next hour and fifteen minutes trying to get my sound setup. My setup is really rather simple, and a nice regulated signal comes from my submixer. Of course, the sound duders ran into a lot of problems. Finally, I got shuttled to the talent hospitality area, put some food on my plate (all that was left was squash tamales – but in all fairness they were pretty tasty), sat down, and the women in black trenchcoats came up and said “are you almost ready to go north hall?”. Sweet. This was followed by a lot of “Wheres the fuzz?” and “The fuzz is in the car” radio communication.

I played almost an hour first set to the mostly empty hall. It was a HUGE space. The lighting and general setup was pretty rad. People would come up to me while I was playing and ask if Elton John was playing in this room. One person asked for white wine. At 8, Zoe Keating played a cool looping cello set. I really liked her music. At 8:45 I played a second set. I had a little more foot traffic for this set, but not too many people seemed to care. It was fine, pretty much what I expected. Since I was in the sorta mini circular bar area in the middle of the hall, people could check out my setup from many angles. At one point, 10 people were huddled behind me, staring at the laptop monitor, like moths to the flame. Stina said that I would move, blocking their view, and they would all shift over.

Occasionally someone would come up to me and want to talk about my music. I handed out maybe 30 business cards over the night. I might have made a couple of new fans. It resonated with a couple people fairly strongly, which is all I can hope for. I was free from 9:15 till 11:30. Rena Jones played a great set. I was already a big fan of her downtempo violin focused music. If you like my music, I suggest checking out some her tracks. I took in some Elton John, ate lots of sushi, and dipped everything I could get my hands on into the giant chocolate fountains. I was amused contemplating that this might be the largest mostly male audience that Sir John would ever play to.

At 10:45, Devo went on in an outside tent. They were fantastic. I danced my ass off with Zoe and Brad. I believe we were the only ones dancing. Whip it. Whip it good. They did a Devo-fied version of “Satisfaction”, which I was deeply amused by, especially since the Rolling Stones cover band had surely already sang it that night. I had to jet at 11:30 for my final set. I can’t explain to you how surreal it was that I walked from Devo, through Elton John, and then through Joan Jett, to get to my performance space.

I was supposed to play from 11:30 – 12, when the party ended, but when midnight rolled around they asked me to play for another half hour. No problem. I try to be helpful. Only one drunk person harassed me during that whole time.

All in all, the whole experience met my exact expectations. I wasn’t so nervous about the gig, and I wasn’t so nervous to play it either. It was fine. I got paid nicely. Maybe I started a relationship with Hartman Studios. Who knows? It was fully worth doing.

I’ll leave you with some Stina shot video:



Blogger MikeyLife said...

you sure you're not just playing with your wang chung in that second video?

5:12 PM  
Blogger The Habe said...

Mmmm... chocolate dipped sushi.

11:53 AM  

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